Total Warrior Combat (TWC) is known for its reputation of building future combat sports stars. On their platform, fans have bear witnessed the beginning rise of many of today’s top talents, who now grace us on major fight promotions. TWC MMA’s upcoming November 16 event looks to continue the trend showcasing many rising stars on a night of spectacular action live from the Causeway Bay Hotel in St. Lansing, Michigan.
Making his professional debut on the card will be the 2018 Catch Wrestling World Champion, Curran Jacobs. Jacobs has achieved the highest accolades in grappling combat sports, and now seeks new challenges in hopes of reaching the highest standard in Mixed Martial Arts. Why the long wait? What drove him to focus on and compete in MMA finally? How does he plan to rock the MMA world? Jacobs discloses all the details in this exclusive interview with MYMMANEWS.
Over a year ago, you achieved the highest accolade in your combat sports discipline, becoming the 2018 Catch Wrestling World Champion. Regrettably, since becoming champion, you have become unsuccessful in acquiring new challenges due to various circumstances. How frustrating was it not being able to compete to further establish your claim as the best grappler in the world?
Curran Jacobs: The reason why I have not defended my title is simple – no one wants to challenge me. I cannot put into words how frustrating it has been. I’ve reached out to many athletes who have earned the title “World Champion” and offered them the shot, and much to my surprise and disappointment, they’ve declined the opportunity. As badly as I want to name these weak-hearted individuals, I’ll stick with what Josh Barnett recently stated about opponents turning him down for his Bellator debut – “I’ll let them slink away and sit in their cowardice. You know they know it. It’s like pissing your pants and not changing your clothes. It doesn’t matter if they dry out. At the end of the day, you know what’s going on.”
During that competition drought, how did you keep yourself motivated/busy?
Curran Jacobs: I’ve always been motivated and extremely competitive. The greatest gift I’ve ever received was being underestimated. This drought has only added fuel to my fire. I thought to myself, if they are afraid of me now, just wait and see what happens while they allow me to work on my weaknesses. Wait and see what happens when they have no choice but to face me when they’re forced to face their fears finally. I’ll be patient.
You are recognized for your grappling achievements. Unbeknownst to many, you are also an undefeated amateur Mixed Martial Arts fighter. With your unbeaten record, why did you take the long layoff from MMA?
Curran Jacobs: During my layoff from MMA, I have been working on my kickboxing. I’m putting many hours into being just as calm on my feet as I am on the ground. I can go for hours if the battle goes to the ground, but I did not like the fact that my striking wasn’t on the level where I know it needs to be. I can now confidently say that I’m able to stand and throw with the best of them, thanks to my team, Murcielago MMA. It took a long time with a few trips to the hospital, but now I’m calm wherever the fight takes me.
There seems to be resurging in your interest in Mixed Martial Arts, as you will be making your professional debut on November 16. Please share with us the importance of your professional appearance and being able to compete again finally?
Curran Jacobs: This is extremely important to me because I believe that Catch Wrestling will continue to thrive under MMA’s ruleset. There are Legends out there who have proved just how effective the grappling art is, and now it is my turn to carry the torch. I’m ready to rise to the top. I believe I’ve mastered the mental approach when it comes to combat, and that’s where I will have a serious advantage. I’ve seen too many fighters out there lose when they should have won – when they were one fight away from earning a shot in the big leagues, and they let the pressure cripple them. That gives me strength because I know I won’t break. Now it’s time to prove it — their will versus my will.
There always seems to be a pattern of competitors calling you out. Why are competitors so content with wanting to dethrone Curran Jacobs?
Curran Jacobs: The athletes who initially called me out for the Catch Wrestling World Title have since retracted their challenges. Once I accepted and had a venue set up, they were suddenly cursed with injuries and excuses. It has been rough because I know my fans out there want me to defend my title. Ian Jones is the best Catch Wrestler in the UK, and he just recently won a championship. I would love nothing more than to defend my title against him.
Your opponent in your professional debut at Total Combat Warriors 5, Laquinton Anthony has resorted to the same verbal tactics, as your previous foes. Being involved in this familiar scenario, share with your thoughts on your opponent, Laquinton Anthony?
Curran Jacobs: Laquinton Anthony is the only one in Michigan willing to fight me. All of the promoters I spoke with said that no one would take the fight, and then Laquinton appears out of nowhere, calling me out. I was very excited that someone finally stepped up. I respect Laquinton for his courage. Whoever calls me out has obviously seen what I have accomplished and wishes to gain glory by defeating me, I welcome them.
You always have a great deal of confidence going into any battle. However, there has to be a support system helping your prepare in hopes of achieving victory. Who are some of the people you have been working with in preparation for your upcoming fight?
Curran Jacobs: Joaquin Rodriguez is my coach at Murcielago MMA. He was Rashad Evans’ first MMA Coach, so he is a true veteran of this sport. He has taken me to the next level when it comes to my striking. My teammates at Murcielago are expert kickboxers and savage knock out artists. Working with them left me with no choice but to grow. I have Coach Roger Chandler’s support, he is the head wrestling coach at Michigan State University, and he allows me to wrestle with his Spartans. When I’m unable to wrestle with them, my former teammate at MSU, Tyler Dickenson, has been extremely helpful. He allows me to keep my D1 level skillset sharp. I roll with my grappling coach, Andrew Peterson, who continues to keep my limbs and neck in check. He is a master of the craft. Randy Couture continues to mentor me, he always knows what to say at the right time, I have no idea how he does it, but he inspires me to be my absolute best. My family encourages me and supports me every day, and that’s where I draw most of my strength. My son looks up to me, and I will make him proud.
Assuming victory is crucial in your pro debut. Looking onward, how does it play a role in your future in Mixed Martial Arts?
Curran Jacobs: I have no doubt that I’ll win on the 16th. I will continue to fight and continue to climb the ranks until I’ve earned my shot into the big league. I’m in a place mentally and physically right now where I know I’m going to wreak havoc on anyone who steps across from me. I’m prepared to die in there, and I mean that with all my heart and soul.